Part of the project of Expedition since its inception was to look at common RPG things that characters did, and strip some of the role protection away. Some of these actions are pretty iconic to fantasy narratives, and I believe, open to everyone. It is a very explicit break from a tradition of role protections and what those protections mean for the actions that characters can take. Why couldn’t the “Rogue” leap in front of the “Wizard” to defend his/her buddy from an attack? Why couldn’t the “Fighter” build up his/her group and give them a boost? A large part of that project was pushing these things out of locked specializations and into core maneuvers that every character could perform. Characters pursuing certain Odysseys will be better than others (the Sentinel specifically owns today’s preview) with certain kinds of Maneuvers, but everyone can try them out as a standard tactic. Let’s look at the Protect Maneuvers, a page of defensive abilities that every character in the game can attempt to help their buddies out.
Protect Maneuvers allow you to defend allies and yourself, block the passage of enemy characters, and take control of the Field for your faction.
Many Protect Maneuvers are “set up” during your own turn as a Major Action, but are performed outside your turn, whenever you defend against an opposing pool (or interpose yourself between an ally and an enemy). With Stonewall or Entrench, you can protect a Distant landmark from your own, but you cannot protect a Far landmark – enemies moving to a Far landmark ignore you.
Glance: Once per Round, if you glance with a Protect maneuver, gain 1 Feat Die.
Challenge: As a Minor Action, you an issue a Challenge against a nearby or distant enemy to provoke it into combat with you. You might throw something at it; use magic to compel it; or shout taunts its way, and so on. You do not have to roll to make a Challenge against an enemy. If it rises to your Challenge, during its next turn it gains 2 Feat Dice if it chooses to attack, impair or otherwise pay attention to you. If it ignores your Challenge, you gain 1 Feat Die. The GM tells you whether or not it accepts the Challenge before you take your next action.
Entrench: As a Major Action, you can Entrench yourself in an area, readying yourself to punish or intimidate incoming enemies. Select a landmark or a character to protect. While Entrenched, you can react with an Attack against any enemy that uses a Maneuver against you, or whenever an enemy moves Near to you or to the character or landmark you selected. You have +1d10 to your tests with Entrenched reaction attacks. Your attack does not interrupt the enemy – resolve your Attack first (you initiating, enemy defending), and then the opponent’s Maneuver is rolled as normal (it initiates, and its target defends).
Guard: As a Major Action, you can Guard yourself. While Guarding, any Damage dealt to you suffers an Obstacle Die, and you roll an extra 1d10 for your defending pools. Guarding lasts until your next turn, when you can take the action again if you wish. Obstacle Dice do not stack together. If a character has multiple Obstacle Dice to one pool, it rolls each and takes the one highest die result.
Stonewall: As a Major Action, you can take a Stonewall stance. A character Stonewalling prevents any enemies from getting near to, exploiting or attacking the characters or landmarks that he or she is defending. When you spend your action to Stonewall, you select a landmark or character to protect and you can react to any enemies trying to move into or interact with your ward by rolling an opposed test against the maneuver they tried to launch. If you succeed, the enemy’s action fails, and any Glances (such as Stress) are dealt to you rather than to your ward. Any Feat Die the enemy spent on the failed action refund at the end of the current round. If you fail, the enemy affects you (but not your ward) with whatever Maneuver it intended to perform as normal.